Today's Focus

Current Goal: Eliminate Mortgage on Rental Property
Interest Rate is 5.125%!

January 1, 2019: $59,592
July 9, 2020: $13,496

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Monday, August 3

My Frugal Miser - July Expenses: $8,417


July was a great month for paying down debt and keeping most of my expenses in check.  Setting business expenses aside, I spent just over $3,500 last month.   And, with an end of the month large principal payment I have almost paid off the mortgage on the rental property.  Chances are I will pay it in full in August. 


Large Expenses

  • Half of my monthly expenses were related to my rental properties.  I rented our largest rental property, but it required several repairs.  The entire house was repainted, and several other small repairs added up.  Fortunately the house shouldn't need more work for a while.
  • The IRS sent me a refund in May I should not have received.  I was finally able to speak with someone on the phone for instructions on returning the funds.  That lead to a large tax expense.

Everything Else

I sold the Sonata for $1,500.  This offset all the other vehicle-related expenses and resulted in income for that category.  With the new-to-me Elantra, I had no repair costs.  The car is also more fuel efficient.  Food spending finally went down considerably.  American Express has a shop small promotion right now which results in a $5 credit every time you spend at least $10 at a small business, so we saved on our dining out expense.  

July Business Spending:  $5,058
July Personal Spending:  $3,359

July Expenses:  $8,417

($1,202) Auto (service, gas, insurance, AAA, etc.) income this month
$49 Bank Fees
$0 Clothing/ Personal Care
$316 Fun (vacations movies, gambling, alcohol, concert tickets)
$392 Food
$412 Health and Dental
$1,602 Household/Mortgage Payment/Home Repair
$0 Interest Expense
$0 Miscellaneous
$1,698 Taxes includes quarterly tax payments
$6 App Jobs Expenses (tolls, car washes, etc.)
$0 Unreimbursed Job Expenses
$0 Reimbursed Job Expenses
$92 Utilities
$4,247 Rental Property Expenses
$804 AirBNB Expenses

Saturday, August 1

My Frugal Miser - July Income: $12,349

My income in July was solid.

I worked a short one day meeting job.  The meeting was an expo to demonstrate safe meeting practices during a pandemic.  It is going to be a long time before live meetings and events return, but it was nice to work for a day and I got to see a lot of my meeting friends.  I also did a merchandising route last month.

The Airbnb is doing great and we only had 4 empty days.  We took advantage of two consecutive days of vacancy by refreshing some of the paint and doing a few minor repairs.  There is always work to do as the house was built 70 years ago.

I collected rent from all 3 Birmingham rental properties.  One house is newly leased and I only collected a partial months rent.  My management company managed to rent this house less than 2 months after it became vacant.  For the Birmingham market this is good, particularly considering the pandemic as well as several weeks when work was being done to the home.

July Income: $12,349

$72 Mystery Shopping/ Merchandising
$120 Meeting Jobs
$1,018 Gig Apps (Rideshare, Food Deliveries, etc.)
$1,599 Amazon Deliveries
$2,782 Rental Income
$3,519 Airbnb Income
$23 Interest Income
$3,216 Other Sources

Investment Accounts Change in Value:  $1,422

My investment accounts improved slightly.  I could see that Tailored Brands was getting ready to file for bankruptcy so I sold all my shares at a hefty loss.  Some of my other investments gained in value which offset the declines.

Tuesday, July 7

My Frugal Miser - June Income: $18,531

Even though the meeting industry is shut down, I managed to keep our income up.  There were some one-time inflows which made this the best month of the year.

The Airbnb is doing great.  We only had 3 empty days.  The trend is definitely towards shorter stays from drive-in guests.

Meeting work was zero.  It's possible we will work one day in July for a special gathering to demonstrate safe meeting practices.  I'm a bit skeptical about the meeting taking place, but we'll see.

Rental income only includes a house and a condo in Birmingham.  The other Birmingham house was vacant.

I received a $1,000 bonus for upgrading a bank account.  My partner received a lump sum for unemployment and made a hefty contribution towards our bills, which is posted in Other Income.

June Income: $18,531

$0 Mystery Shopping/ Merchandising
$0 Meeting Jobs
$1,424 Gig Apps (Rideshare, Scooter Charging, Food Deliveries, etc.)
$1,556 Amazon Deliveries
$1,665 Rental Income
$3,509 Airbnb Income
$23 Interest Income
$10,354 Other Sources

Investment Accounts Change in Value:  $21,873

My investment accounts continued to recover from the corona crash.  Unfortunately a couple of my positions may be permanently impaired.  The largest loss has been Tailored Brands, owner of Men's Wearhouse and Joseph A. Banks.  The company could be headed for bankruptcy and my 12,000 shares will likely not recover.

Sunday, July 5

My Frugal Miser - June Expenses: $24,319 (!!!)


I made a lot of progress in June towards reducing ongoing expenses.  I bought a used Elantra to replace the Sonata.  I will be selling the Sonata soon.  This will reduce auto expenses in a couple ways:  the Elantra is more fuel efficient, so I'll save on gas.  It will also reduce repairs.  The other thing I did was make a significant principal payment on the rental property mortgage.

The rental property has a 5.125% mortgage.  I had money sitting in a bank account basically earning nothing.  In June I paid $35,575 towards reducing the balance.  This cuts $150/month in interest.  I will pay off the entire mortgage as fast as possible, which means $449 in monthly mortgage payments will go away soon!


Large Expenses

  • I paid $1,358 for the yearly insurance on the Airbnb house.
  • I spent $2,308 on our rental properties.  We worked on the vacant Birmingham property last month.
  • $532 was spent on the Sonata.  This includes two new tires (an almost new tire had to be replaced due to damage from a nail) and an emergency repair that required a tow to the shop.
  • We replaced the carpet in our home's living room with vinyl tile.  Eventually I will probably extend the tile to the master bedroom.

Everything Else

Our food costs are always high.  In June we traveled to Birmingham and Las Vegas, which contributed to higher restaurant spending.  Fortunately the Vegas trip was super-frugal.  The hotel rooms were free, I had credits on Southwest for the flight, and I hit a Royal Flush on video poker, which paid for the trip.  I also spent $154 for a Groupon to tint the windows on the new car.

June Business Spending:  $3,970
June Personal Spending:  $5,959
June Car Purchase:  $14,390

June Expenses:  $24,319

$14,390 New Car
$1,151 Auto (service, gas, insurance, AAA, etc.)
$0 Bank Fees
$0 Clothing/ Personal Care
($10) Fun (vacations movies, gambling, alcohol, concert tickets) income this month
$856 Food
$406 Health and Dental
$2,605 Household/Mortgage Payment/Home Repair
$0 Interest Expense
$0 Miscellaneous
$640 Taxes includes quarterly tax payments
$0 App Jobs Expenses (tolls, car washes, etc.)
$0 Unreimbursed Job Expenses
$0 Reimbursed Job Expenses
$309 Utilities
$2,308 Rental Property Expenses
$1,662 AirBNB Expenses